Arizona Diamondbacks 2011 Season Preview
You can find your Arizona Diamondbacks tickets for the 2011 season on SeatGeek.
Arizona Diamondbacks 2011 Season Preview
The Arizona Diamondbacks come off a 2010 season which saw a lot of changes from replacing a general manager and manager in-season and consistently used players only minor-league ready on their major league roster. The result? A last place finish that had many Dbacks fans ready for the season to end and ready to look forward to 2011.
Key Departures: Adam Laroche, Mark Reynolds, Brandon Webb, Rusty Ryal
The Diamondbacks dropped a lot of dead weight, both at the plate and on the mound. The Dbacks offensively dropped a lot of strikeouts, almost 400 of them between Laroche and Reynolds. Over the previous couple of seasons, the Diamondbacks could put up with Reynolds strikeouts because of his productivity and power. He had 44 homers in 2009. That number dropped to 32 in 2010 but he had nothing else to show for it. His batting average dropped to .198 and that was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
As for Laroche, it was tough to see him go, even with all the strikeouts. Fact is he could make contact with the ball and had more productive outs. You also lost something defensively with the loss of Laroche. It was pretty clear from the get go though the Dbacks weren’t sold on the prospect of having Laroche for a long time. His name surfaced during the trade deadline in July and his contract situation constantly went back and forth for a couple of months from staying here with an extension and leaving after the season. The Diamondbacks offered arbitration, but clearly that move was made because they knew Laroche wouldn’t accept it. With the pickup of Juan Miranda from the Yankees, the Dbacks felt they could let Laroche go.
The other departures are no surprise. I could sit here and list all the relievers that actually left the team, but none of them are even worth mentioning, thus why they are not “key” departures. The bullpen was awful and it is a position the Dbacks are trying to fix.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the departure of Brandon Webb. He spent
Key Additions: Kevin Towers (GM), Melvin Mora, J.J Putz, Xavier Nady, Juan Miranda, Hector Blanco, Zach Duke, Geoff Blum
Mora is a guy I’m not sure what to expect of except for one thing, he will play a solid third base and not strikeout nearly as much as Mark Reynolds. His best years may be behind him and he obviously won’t supply the kind of power Reynolds did but I’m fairly confident he won’t even come close to hitting only .198.
As for Putz, he immediately becomes the stud of the bullpen. Then again you could bring in a corpse and that corpse would produce better numbers than last years bullpen did. Putz is a good addition though, so don’t get me wrong. Zach Duke is a good add as a 4th or 5th starter in the rotation. Duke, a former National League Rookie of the Year with the Pittsburgh Pirates, hasn’t produced decent numbers since his rookie season and therefore the Pirates finally gave up on him. He went 8-15 last season, so he should fit right in! Seriously though, maybe a change of scenery is something he needs to reinvent himself. I know this, he won’t be able to beat up the Dbacks anymore.
Xavier Nady would have been an exciting pickup a couple of years ago. Coming off injuries, if Nady had ever reached his potential with the Padres or Yankees, there is no way he is in a Dbacks uniform in 2011. Nady was a trade deadline pickup by the Yankees a couple of seasons ago. That right there should say everything about the type of star Nady could be. The Dbacks are hoping that star shines in Arizona.
The biggest unknown though is Miranda. The Dbacks picked him up to be the star first baseman of the future, starting as soon as 2011. He had a couple of trips to the big leagues with the Yankees during his tenure with the organization. Like Ian Kennedy, he was another star lost in their minor league system who probably would not have seen much time with the men in pinstripes. What is the Yankees loss may be the Dbacks gain.